Hydrosense Legionella test backed by KWR
KWR, the Dutch Watercycle Research Institute, carried out research comparing three techniques for the analysis of Legionella contamination of water systems.
Development of a fast and reliable monitoring system enables prompt treatment of contaminated systems. Of the methods tested, q-PCR and culture testing both require access to a lab and as such, cannot be performed on site and incur a delay. The Hydrosense test, referred to as Fastpath in the research, can be used on site by untrained operators and gives a reliable result in 25 minutes.
Culture tests for Legionella are reliant on the bacterium being in the correct phase of its lifecycle: it is not always detectable by culture, and it is not detectable by culture when in its most virulent form. In addition, culture tests can take up to two weeks to return results.
The Hydrosense test utilises lateral flow technology, as commonly used in pregnancy tests, to detect the presence of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 antigen in a water sample. The test may be used directly on the water sample or combined with filtration to achieve better levels of detection. The test is intended for use in the field with minimal levels of operator training, and requiring no other specialist equipment.
“ given the speed and simplicity of the test, [this method] would appear to be a useful addition to the set of instruments available to the process operator responsible for the daily management of cooling water systems. The method’s specificity makes it a useful addition to ATP measurements, colony number measurements or dip slides that are already used for monitoring water systems. The method’s speed and simplicity make it exceptionally interesting for monitoring in emergencies.“